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Calcification. Parity. Cultural Backlash.

The best explanation I have seen of the current political era from the always excellent @ezraklein.  Summary: “The parties are so different that even seismic events don’t change many Americans minds. The parties are so closely matched that even minuscule shifts in the electoral winds can blow the country onto a wildly different course. And even in a time of profound economic dislocation, American politics has become . . . about whether the cultural changes of the past 50 years delight or dismay you.”

I am relieved by the outcome of the midterms, but the conditions Klein describes aren’t going to disappear any time soon.  Add three other factors — the anti-majoritarian flaws of our Constitution, the polarizing effects of social media, and the growing right-wing flirtation with authoritarianism — and you have a prescription for ongoing political turmoil, with enormous risks for liberal democracy, and no end in sight.

Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday

Join us this Friday at 11:00am at Faneuil Park (at Huguenot and East Main), as New Rochelle honors America’s veterans.  In the event of bad weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors to City Hall.  Thank you to the Veterans Advisory Committee for organizing our community’s observance.

Bramson vs. Astorino (2022 Edition)

Nine years ago, Rob Astorino and I were locked in a heated contest for County Executive, during which we got along personally, but disagreed on pretty much everything.  Last week, Iona University hosted the two of us for a pre-election debate/conversation, and we picked up right where we left off.  The threats to our democracy are real and urgent . . . and need to be called out in the clearest, strongest terms.  Please watch, share, and VOTE.

Axe Throwing Comes to New Ro

Preparing to throw (and miss)

So, axe throwing is a thing . . . really . . . for fun (which it is!)  And it’s also the latest attraction at New Roc, with the opening of Bananas’ Axe Cabana.  At the ribbon-cutting, for which we used scissors and not any other implement, my own personal axe throwing skills proved very poor.  Lots of misses.  Conversely, and perhaps not surprisingly, our Fire Commissioner Andy Sandor was a dab hand, hitting the bullseye over and over.  If things fall apart, and we find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian war of all-against-all, I’m staying close to Andy.

City Manager Proposes Budget for 2023

City Manager Chuck Strome has released his proposed budget for 2023.  The City Council will review the budget carefully in the weeks ahead, accept public comment, and entertain potential amendments prior to adopting a final budget in December.

In broad strokes, the budget reflects New Rochelle’s strong fiscal position and growing economy, with significant investment in capital and infrastructure needs, enhancement of core services, a robust fund balance, and a proposed tax rate within the New York State tax cap.

There’s more in this press release, and here’s the full budget.

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